Cryptozoology is the study of 'hidden animals'. These are animals that have been reported but have not been scientifically described. For example, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Yeti are all cryptic animals. Many creatures are simply myths or legends, but some have true (if a little misguided) roots. Here we aim to bring to you some of the more common cryptids
Bigfoot - A large ape-man somewhere between 1.8 and 3.0m tall, living in the forests of North America. The body is said to be completely covered in dense fur. Photo's do exist, but are not clear enough to prove Bigfoot's existence. Footprints also exist, and many people have claimed evidence that later turns out to be a hoax. Some claim it to be a living specimen of the extinct Gigantopithecus or Paranthropus, but experts have reasonable evidence to disprove this
Beast of Exmoor and the Beast of Bodmin Moor - Reported to be large cats, jet black in colouration. Scientists are skeptical as the sightings have spanned decades, and a strong population would be needed to carry on the lineage. But there are possible chances that some cats may have escaped from zoos or private collectors. Not all claims remain unresolved though, in 1991 an escaped Lynx was shot and killed in Norfolk after farmers complained that their livestock was being killed. The Beast of Exmoor has proved inconclusive though, even after a search by Royal Marines, no concrete evidence was found
Chupacabra - Descended from Puerto Rico, North America and Central America, the Chupacabra is also called the Goatsucker. It is reportedly a fierce creature that kills livestock, and sucks their blood. The Chupacabra is described as being 90 - 120cm in height wit hsmooth hairless skin (grey colouration). It is said to have spines of some kind along it's back and a dog-like face with large fangs. It apparently hops like a kangaroo. But many of the so-called Chupacabra specimens have been coyotes with severe mange, or other dogs (domestic, foxes, etc) with medical problems and parasites
Jersey Devil - Generally regarded to be a two-legged creature with an equine head, glowing eyes and wings. The Jersey Devil was accredited to a speight of livestock killings, and unusual tracks. The tracks were most prominent in 1909, where many people saw them in the snow. There were many stories of how the Jersey Devil came to be. One example began with a lady called Mrs. Shrouds of Leeds Point, New Jersey. One day she asked that her next child be the devil himself. Her next child (number 13) was born deformed, and Mrs. Shrouds kept it hidden within her house. One day the child waved it's arms and they became wings, and it simply flew away
Loch Ness Monster - Arguably the most notable cryptid in the UK, this aquatic monster is said to inhabit Loch Ness in Scotland. From the eye witness reports many believe it to be a survivor from an extinct group of animals called Plesiosaurs. Many experts deny it's existence due to biological factors, but many more people believe it's existence. It is generally described as having either a large curved back or serpent-like body with a long neck and small head. Unfortunately many photographs are disproven as hoaxes, most notably the image coined the 'Surgeon's Photograph'
Cryptozoology survives due to the human race's obsession to find an answer to every question. Unidentifieds and our great passion for myths and legends drives us to believe in what some may say is the impossible. But if we take into account the old saying 'no smoke without fire' and the fact that statistically some cryptids must be true, then we really don't know what secrets this planet has hidden away...
A list of cryptids along with their origin, possible explanations, descriptions and accounts will be available for download soon